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Adrift but not yet sunk – Rocks out to down high-flying Saints

Rocks boss Jack Pearce believes his side can build some home momentum as he looks to spark a great escape.

 

With just 11 games of the season remaining, Bognor sit second bottom of National South, eight points from safety.

 

But, after securing a first home league win since August against Braintree a fortnight ago and running high-flying Hampton & Richmond close last weekend in a 1-0 defeat, the Rocks are not giving up hope just yet.

 

A visit from fifth-place St Albans City tomorrow (3pm) may not seem the easiest match on paper.

 

But a 2-1 win away in Hertfordshire in November still lingers fondly in the memory of the Bognor squad – and the Nye Camp faithful will be hoping the Rocks can pick up where they left off against the Saints by registering a double over the promotion chasers.

 

Speaking to the Post, Pearce said: “I hope we can build on the last home game and I hope we can play as well as we did last time [against Hampton].

 

“We worked very hard and gave a good account of ourselves. If we get chances I hope we can take them.”

 

Despite their lowly position, the Rocks had the better of the first half at a very cold Beveree stadium.

 

Jimmy Muitt and Ollie Pearce both went close for Bognor while skipper Sami El-Abd spurned a headed chance just before the break. Into the second half and Hampton took charge. The Rocks held out until the 85th minute when Shaun Jeffers turned a low strike into the net.

 

Pearce said: “What Saturday showed is how competitive the league is this year and how the difference between success and failure is very small.

 

“They are second from top, we are second from bottom and, after an hour, there was not much between us.

 

“We had two chances when we had them at our mercy and, when they had their moments, they took them. That’s football.”

 

The good news for the Rocks is that skipper Sami El-Abd is available after his red card for an alleged elbow at the end of the match was over-turned. This means he is in contention for tomorrow’s match.

 

Towering teen striker Stefan Ljubicic, who is on-loan from Brighton & Hove Albion and was dismissed an hour into his home debut against Truro City, is also available.

 

But Calvin Davies remains out through suspension while James Crane, Dan Beck and Chad Field are unavailable because of injury.

 

That is, of course, as long as the Beast from the East relents and allows the Nyewood Lane turf to thaw out.

 

Pearce said: “We’ll be making an early decision.”

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